“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star.” — Robert Rose
It’s no news every business owner wants to do business with the best in the industry. However, marketing is what separates the best developers from smart developers.
Statistics has shown that there are about 18.2 million software developers worldwide, a number that is due to rise to 26.4 million by 2019. These are potential techpreneurs you’re competing with. So marketing yourself and becoming an authority as a techpreneur becomes very important as you need to stand out.
Moreso, you’re more likely to attract clients for your new business if you’re visible and when you’re able to make them trust your brand. And that can only happen through marketing.
You should be your brand. Most techpreneurs start off as freelancers and gradually scale their business to a wholesome startup, however, others start right-off-the-bat with their first app, which is fine. Whichever way, it’s important you market yourself to attract business to your brand as customers like to work with real people.
That being said, in this post, I’ll teach you how to market yourself as a startup techpreneur.
1. Create your personal project
Creating your personal project is a very important step to starting your company as a techpreneur. Yes, it all starts with adding value to people’s life.
I understand that in your learning process you must have created some useless (yes, you must have done some projects that already exist to get your hands dirty with some concepts) and useful projects, but that’s not what I‘m talking about here. You need to create real-world projects that solve real life problems in any industry you desire.
So find a problem and solve it — a lot has been said already about this but no implementation is usually given. However, let me share with you some tips on how to find what solution people are looking for.
1.) Go to your local market, observe, find out what they’re doing that seems to be a hard work which you can create a software to help them do. You’ll get a lot of inspiration from this exercise. Try it.
When you meet an idea you feel will add value to them and help them become more productive and of course, help them increase profit, or give their customers a great experience — boom! You most likely have gotten the golden idea.
Next, make a survey sheet, or interview them one-on-one to find out if they’re really interested in your idea. If they do, great. You’ve got a new project to build on.
Build it, of course, it wouldn’t be the best product. It should just be viable at the minimum. Then test, test, test. Once it’s okay, then look for beta testers. Next, start your marketing — a lot goes into all of these.
2.) Another way is to find an emerging technology and develop a product around it and start your promotion — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Co-browsing, Beacon, Geofencing — these are big technologies that’ll take over the business ecosystem in the future and every forward thinking company will want to invest in them.
3.) Go to Android Play Store, check out apps that are performing well but are lacking some important features, make something better.
2. Showcase your portfolio
Once you have this application ready, it’s time to showcase your portfolio. Create a website for your product. Whether it’s a desktop app, mobile app or a web app. This sounds common, however, you’ll be surprised how many developers are not doing this.
Put up screenshots and a demo of the product on the website. Ensure this website is dedicated to your app alone. Next, you’ll need to start creating content to attract and retain users or buyers. The easiest and most effective strategy is to start a blog. You’ll see why it’s important in the next subtitle.
3. Start a blog
Next, starting a blog around your website is what you want to do now to kick-start promoting your brand. Recent studies have shown that 71% of bloggers who maintain blogs for a business report that they have increased their visibility within their industries through their blogging.
Starting a blog will not only increase your brand visibility but will help you to engage with your target audience. Every blog post should be of high-caliber. Share it across developers networks forums and social media groups.
Lastly, write several guest blog post for top entrepreneur blogs like Entrepreneur, Business.com, Forbes and Business to Community. This will help you boost your brand visibility.
4. Build your personal brand
Personal branding is very important. You should be consistent with branding yourself. Create smart working strategies that can help you brand yourself as an expert and get customers to trust your brand.
Be so consistent that customers only need to see your logo and then mention your name. So, to do this, plan out the message you want to be giving out and your style of doing that. Will it be infographics? Be consistent with it and ensure your logo is always on it. On Instagram, Twitter and Facebook use your name as a #hashtag. Be consistent.
5. Build a network
Marketing yourself is easy. Join a meetup, attend conferences and connect with people. If possible organize an event you’ll be a speaker on, do your best in delivering your best content. Joining and attending meetups is by far the easiest way to improve your brand visibility and to market yourself.
Create Facebook and Linkedin groups and start adding value to people by providing your group members with high-quality content.
Next, create an email list of people that are interested in your offering — people that will become your solution’s beta testers and your eventual real customers. So, you can be sending them weekly or daily educational content to gain more trust and keep your brand fresh with them.
Marketing yourself as an entrepreneur is the most important thing you should do for yourself and your brand as it will help you improve your visibility.
Even if you want to work as a freelancer — freelancers work for their money, however, entrepreneurs set up systems that generate money for them, you still need all of these to market yourself and to make more money.
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